Kabul: The British Army is using a 230-metre long snake-like explosive device as an unlikely weapon against roadside bombs, the biggest killer of their soldiers in Afghanistan.
The ‘Python rocket-propelled mine-clearing system’ is attached to a series of rockets and is fired on to an area thought to contain improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Moments after impact, it explodes, detonating bombs nearby and clearing the way for soldiers to advance forward.
Royal Engineers fired the device for the first time in Afghanistan on Saturday, clearing a suspected IED belt in Nad Ali as part of a major offensive against the Taliban in Helmand province, The Times reports.
Staff Sergeant Mark Eastley, from 30 Armoured Engineer Squadron, said: “It takes your breath away. You see the flash, hear the bang and then feel the shock wave.”
It is believed that Taliban fighters have planted roadside bombs in Marjah, just south of Nad Ali, the focus of the latest NATO offensive.
Meanwhile, Major General Nick Carter, the British commander of NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, said the biggest danger for advancing troops was IEDs.
“What has surprised us is the quantity. They have had a long time to prepare this and they have not been idle in terms of getting it right,” Major General Carter said.